DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     July 1, 1999     vol. 10, no. 127

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Also House Resolution for Day of Prayer defeated

          NEW YORK (CWNews.com) - A special United Nations General Assembly meeting on population issues, including abortion, contraception, and teen sex, began on Wednesday, after UN officials reportedly tried to set up a split between Catholic and Muslim nations on the topic.

          The Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute said this week that senior UN sources told them that Dr. Nafis Sadik, director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), pressured the heads of six Muslim delegations in a late-night meeting during the preparatory conference in March. Sadik was said to have charged the Muslim diplomats with working closely with the Vatican and Christian organizations, and the Muslim delegates apparently reacted with anger.

          At this week's special session that began Wednesday and ends Friday, the G-77 developing countries and the industrialized Western nations were set for a showdown on population issues. After pro-life groups at the March meeting were successful in defending parental authority and defeating abortion and contraceptive measures, Sadik encourage a number of pro-abortion groups to apply for participation in this week's meeting to offset them.

          Among the groups are Action Canada for Population and Development, the National Abortion Rights Action League, the National Abortion Federation, the US Committee for UNFPA, and the Wallace Global Fund. The groups are intent on opening up sex education, abortion, and contraception to the youngest children, despite parental concerns. "There is a lot of tension between parental duties and adolescent rights to confidentiality and privacy," said Sally Etherton, an official with Population Action International.

          Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C. the US House of Representatives on Tuesday voted down a resolution that called for a national day of prayer and fasting as a response to a recent spate of violence, especially the school attack in Littleton, Colorado.

          Although a majority approved the resolution, 275-140, that was less than the two-thirds majority needed to pass it under the special rules covering the proposal. The nonbinding resolution was sponsored by Rep. Helen Chenoweth, R-Idaho, who said such a statement is needed today. "Our nation is sick and hurting and now is the time when all Americans of faith must come together and pray for healing and a spiritual renewal," Chenoweth said from the House floor Tuesday. "If there ever is a time when we need almighty God, it is now."

          Chenoweth is expected to reintroduce the resolution under regular rules that require only a simple majority. Last week, the House passed a bill permitting the posting of the Ten Commandments in public buildings, including schools.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

July 1, 1999       volume 10, no. 127


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